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Irene takes aim on *Northeast*

By: sullivanweather , 3:06 PM GMT en Agosto 25, 2011

Current watches, warnings and advisories.

Eastern US current watches/warnings
Current watches, warning and advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Courtesy of NOAA.

Your Northeast Forecast


All eyes are on Irene this morning as it churns over the Bahamas as a category three major hurricane. This storm has the Northeast in its crosshairs this weekend, promising to bring flooding rainfall, damaging winds and high storm surges along the coast. Before Irene's arrival there will be a couple of systems to deal with; the first today in the form of a fairly decent cold front bringing the chance for isolated severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall and the next on Saturday as another possible area of heavy rainfall indirectly associated with Irene moves up along the coastal plain. As Irene chugs into Canada early Monday morning a much cooler and drier airmass will filter in and last till Wednesday, giving the region a chance to clean up and dry out.

Short-term forecast

A sharp trough and its associated cold front will slide across the Northeast today, shearing out in the process as it meets up against a strong offshore deep-layer ridge of high pressure. This is the same ridge responsible for steering Hurricane Irene towards the East Coast. Out ahead of this front deep moisture is streaming northward on a brisk 30-35kt low-level jet, pumping precipitable water values around the 2" range, so it's a rather humid start to the day for much of the region. Also streaming northward ahead of the front along a pre-frontal trough is an area of widespread showers and embedded thunderstorms moving through central Pennsylvania and New York. Rainfall with these storms have been heavy this morning, with some places picking up over an inch of rain. This area of precipitation will gradually shift eastward as the day progresses, reaching eastern New York and Western New England around lunchtime and slowing considerably thereafter. Visible satellite imagery shows extensive cloud cover over much of the region save the immediate coast, so insolation will not be too big a role in heating things up in this humid airmass. This should limit the severe weather threat but it will still be present. Instability should easily reach 1,000J/kg along the coastal plain, yielding plenty of energy for convection. As the pre-frontal trough moves towards the coast expect a new round of storms to fire up this afternoon from southeastern Pennsylvania to southern New England while further west along the actual cold front, more scattered convection and maybe a forced narrow line of storms will continue to fire until it passes by So another round may be in store for areas of central Pennsylvania to the Finger Lakes region. Further to the north over central/northern New England cloud cover will keep surface instability low but it will be made of aloft as a strong push of positive vorticity moves trough associated with the mid-level disturbance, providing the extra lift needed for scattered showers and thunderstorms here as well. The front will have a bit more progression the further north one heads so rainfall won't be nearly as heavy across the North Country. However, along the coast as the flow aloft aligns to the front expect this feature to slow down and stall, providing an ideal set-up for training thunderstorms and flash flooding given the wet antecedent conditions. Rainfall amounts should range from a quarter to three quarters of an inch to the north with a half into to an inch and a half to the south with possibly higher amounts in training thunderstorms. High temperatures will be in the 70's for most areas today, though some upper 60's are possible given the quicker onset of thicker clouds over the higher elevations of the North Country while sections of extreme southern New Jersey, where some breaks of sun occurred this morning, temperatures might climb into the low 80's. It will be quite muggy in all areas except for the far northwestern portion of the region where the cold front has passed.

The front reaches just offshore and stalls out tonight as showers and thunderstorms taper off in the evening hours. Otherwise expect partly to mostly cloudy skies and a slow drying of the airmass across the northern third of the region. To the south it will remain muggy with low temperatures in the mid 60's to low 70's. To the north, mid 50's to low 60's should do.

On Friday the humidity begins to creep back north as the front along the coast washes out. There will be more sun than clouds, especially over the interior, but overall a very nice day. There's an outside chance for an isolated shower across southern New Jersey where moisture will be a bit deeper but that's it. A great day to make preparations for the arrival of Irene this weekend. Temperatures will run a few degrees above normal with highs reaching into the mid to upper 70's across the north with low to mid 80's south.

It's the calm before the storm Friday night as Irene will be approaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina at this time from the south. Over the Northeast, 500-700 miles north of the storm, signs are there may be a predecessor rainfall event developing over New Jersey, southeastern New York and southwestern Connecticut. Should this occur there will be some very intense rainfall associated with very slow-moving thunderstorms which may cause localized flash flooding concerns. Elsewhere expect mainly partly cloudy skies and temperatures on the mild side, running 5-10 degrees above normal.

Mid-term forecast

As the weekend begins there will be a steady deterioration of the weather from south to north in most areas east of the I-81 corridor. For those west of this region the forecast is fairly straight forward. Expect a veil of high cloudiness to move over the region on Saturday, sticking around all weekend. In the far west these high clouds will be thin, allowing for a greater diurnal swing in temperatures from the upper 70's during the day to the mid 50's at night. The clouds will thicken the further east one heads, knocking a few degrees off daytime high and keeping overnight lows a few degrees warmer. Cloud cover will begin to diminish Sunday night as a dry, brisk westerly breeze develops in the wake of Irene.

For areas along and east of I-81 it will be a harrowing weekend. Pre-event will be ongoing during the early morning hours on Saturday for areas along the coastal plain up to Connecticut. Rainfall associated with the pre-event will generally range from a quarter to a half inch but localized areas which see training storms could easily pick up three inches or more. Keep in mind this will be the one last day to complete preparations for Irene. High clouds will be on the increase throughout the day, lowering and thickening across areas to the south by the afternoon. Cape May, County, New Jersey may even begin to see the first outer bands of Irene move in before dusk. Winds will begin to increase out of the east, beginning the day in the 10-15mph range along the coast (5-10 inland) and increasing to 15-25mph along the coast by evening (10-15 inland).

By Saturday night Irene will be starting to make her presence felt as the outer rainbands begin to spread over the coastal plain of New Jersey and back across southeastern Pennsylvania during the evening hours. By this time Irene should be passing the mouth of the Chesapeake, pounding the Tidewater region with hurricane conditions. Irene will also begin to accelerate north at this time as she becomes embedded within the mid-latitude flow. This will allow for a quicker northward expansion of precipitation after midnight, reaching Long Island, extreme southern New England, southeast New York and eastern Pennsylvania before daybreak. Further north expect just a continuation of increasing cloudiness ahead of Irene. Temperatures will be quite warm as the tropical airmass moves over the region with most places across the interior remaining in the mid 60's while areas along the coast remain in the low 70's.

Sunday will be a day many youngsters will one day tell their grandkids about. Hurricane Irene will begin the day about 25 miles off the coast of Chincoteague, Virginia, heading just east of due north for western Long Island. The model guidance for Irene's track has come into much better agreement with clustering over the western portion of Long Island as the storm gets captured by a strong southerly flow between a very powerful deep-layer ridge over the western Atlantic Ocean and a digging shortwave trough over the Great Lakes. On this track Irene promises to bring hurricane conditions for a huge section of real estate as the storm hugs the Jersey shore then slams ashore Long Island by the evening hours. Irene's impact will be felt far and wide and will be detailed here and in the tropical section of the blog. Temperatures will remain in the 70's for most areas with upper 60's over the higher terrain.

Irene's impacts


Due to Irene's expected girth as the storm moves north along the coast it is unimportant to pay attention to where the center comes ashore in this situation as her effects will be felt far and wide. Irene will have a strong massive wind field that will bring hurricane force wind speeds for most of the coastline from Cape May to Cape Cod. For inland locations, hurricane force winds will be felt in areas up to 40 miles east of the center and 25 miles west of the center until the storm spins down to a tropical storm up to 150 miles inland over New England. Additionally, just about all of New England, eastern New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania will see at least tropical storm force winds sustained or in gusts, depending on how far one is from the center. The stronger winds will be felt on the east semi-circle of the storm. Higher elevations over 2000' will also see hurricane force wind gusts due to the circulation remaining strong aloft. Highly populated cities susceptible to seeing hurricane force winds include New York City (especially the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn);Atlantic City, New Jersey; Hartford, Connecticut; Springfield, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. Once again, due to Irene's large and well-developed circulation the potential wind impact from Irene will be maximized. Unlike smaller, less-developed tropical systems where the wind field is sporadic and concentrated to localized areas, Irene's will be much more widespread and take much longer to dissipate. This means bad news for areas across the interior as much of this area has been in a wet pattern this month, leaving soils saturated and trees vulnerable to be toppled by the wind.


Despite how severe of a wind event Irene will bring to the coast, perhaps the biggest impact from Irene will be the excessive rainfall and inland flooding. As mentioned, the antecedent conditions are extremely wet. Some areas are already approaching their record wettest August and these includes stations around since 1955, when two tropical systems affected the Northeast. The frontal system will bring up to an inch of rainfall today and the pre-event has the potential to bring much more all before the arrival of Irene. Irene will be non-typical of a Northeast hurricane caught in the mid-latitude flow as it won't be zooming through the region as most of these storms do. Instead it will make a steady progression through the Northeast around 15-20 mph; fairly quickly, but relative to a Northeast hurricane, a graceful stroll. Thus, Irene will be capable of producing extremely heavy rainfall amounts.

Now that it appears Irene will track just east of due north after passing the Carolinas, the hurricane will take a more western track than anticipated yesterday. This will expand the rain coverage much further west than anticipated yesterday. As the storm interacts with land much of the convergence will occur on the west side of the hurricane due to the frictional component of the land as opposed to the eastern side of the storm, which will be over the water. This increasing angular momentum within the storm will cause Irene to become lopsided, with most of the heaviest rainfall occurring on the western semi-circle of the storm. Not an odd occurrence but certainly bad news for the Northeast as it spreads out Irene's wrath, with flooding rainfall west and stronger winds east. Rainfall amounts will range from 6-10"+ for areas up to 100 miles west of the track of the center with amounts quickly tapering west of there. Along the track of Irene and for areas up to 25 miles east of the track of the center 4-8" of rainfall will be common. For the remainder of New England rainfall amounts should range from 2.5-5". In all areas these amounts are enough to bring just about every waterway out of their banks; creeks, streams and main stem rivers. Should there be excessive rainfall with the pre-event prior to Irene flooding of historic proportions are possible across areas of northern New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York and Connecticut.

Storm Surge

While it is too early for specific area storm surge forecasts due to track of Irene, timing of high tide, etc., a general picture is emerging for what we can expect to see from Irene's storm surge. For areas where the center comes ashore and up to 50 miles east expect a storm surge of at least 6-10' above expected tides. Some of the narrow bays may even see tides up to 15' above expected tides, which would be of historic proportions. Should a landfall occur on Long Island even areas east of the maximum zone of storm surge as far east as Cape Cod will see storm surges of 4-8' above expected tides. Areas further up the New England Coast should see a 2-4' storm surge. Along the New Jersey Coast storm surge of 3-5' is expected but should the storm take an inland track (a slight possibility) this could easily be doubled. It must be repeated that these are extremely preliminary estimates, however, residents along the South Shore of Long Island should seriously consider evacuations now as they are right in the bullseye.

Long-range Outlook

After the passage of Irene much cooler air will enter the Northeast as a mainly dry trough digs into the region. Across the North Country, Irene, undergoing extra-tropical transition, will provide lingering heavy rainfall in the morning, tapering to upslope showers by afternoon. Elsewhere skies will gradually clear and winds will be brisk out of the northwest. High's will range from the 50's across the north to the 70's south. Seasonable weather continues Tuesday and Wednesday with mainly dry weather. Heights build to close out the week as temperatures climb back above normal with continued mainly dry conditions.


Tropical Update

Coming soon...

IR Satellite image of Hurricane Irene.

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Radar: Northeast Region Loop

NE radar
Radar loop of the Northeast region. Courtesy of Weather Underground.

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Local SST's

Northeast SST's
Sea-surface temperatures off the Northeast Coast. Courtesy of NOAA.

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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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285. listenerVT
11:42 PM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011
Thanks, Sully. Reality is a friend. Still...!

Katia sounds too much like "Gotcha." Heh.
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
284. listenerVT
11:37 PM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011

After our kitty had a jarring episode of pain during the night, today we called our vet to come and Emma Beautiful Cat died gently in our arms, aged 14.5 years.
=^. .^=
She had been in failing health and on medication and herbal remedy for the last couple of years. So it was time, and we didn't want her to be utterly miserable before the end. This was bad enough.
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
283. sullivanweather
8:18 PM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011
Good afternoon!

I know I said I would write out a blog two days ago but as I was writing that comment I simply wasn't thinking about what 'tomorrow' was, which was Kate's birthday. So we went out and had birthday dinner with the family yesterday.

I'll construct a blog tonight when I get home from running some errands. Lots of flooding concerns in the forecast. This could go very badly or we may escape without much more damage. But I think the former will be what plays out. Lots of moisture will be floating around out there and much of it originating from tropical cyclones. Plus there will be several slow-moving troughs dropping into the region to aid in convergence of all this moisture. All the ingredients are there for more flooding. Then we may have Katia to deal with. Hopefully not a direct hit but even if it stays offshore, the region will be juxtaposed between Katia and the upper level low which will cut off over the Mid-South behind Lee. Usually an area that's ripe for slow-moving thunderstorms due to convergence between the two large scale systems and light winds aloft.
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
282. listenerVT
7:18 PM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011
partylight ~ That is so completely, resoundingly unfair!! I wish we could have taken that 7" for you. If only you could bottle it up and send it to Texas! Keep an eye on the storm hitting Louisiana, as it might send more rain our way. Still hoping Katia will turn in time, but definitely not feeling complacent about it.
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281. partylight
11:45 AM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011

The Stratton Foundation has set up a fund to help out in my local area.

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280. partylight
11:37 AM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011
So I made it to work yesterday, my 15 min drive has turned into now to 1 and a 1/4 hour. So, on my way home I decided to try a road that made it through Irene, a shortcut that would cut 15 mins off but, as I was still high on the mountain road, I saw a perfect inflow tail to a thunderstorm I was going to have to drive in. When I got to the shortcut road, the rain really started to pick up and then, knowing what I was seeing, I got out of there as fast as I could. The road was becoming a river fast. I made it ok, but another part of Jamaica was flooded yesterday. A very small part, this storm did not move at all, dumped about seven inches of rain where I was and put on quite a show of cloud to ground lighting. It freaked everyone out in town but me. People are so jumpy now when it comes to the weather, I don't blame them but these same people always rolled their eyes at me when I would talk about it in the past...
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279. listenerVT
3:13 AM GMT en Septiembre 02, 2011
Numberwise @ #277:

Hear, hear!

Wouldyoubelieve one of the photos from Vermont's devastation [photo #47 of 63 found here: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/201108 31/NEWS07/110831019/Hard-hit-Rochester-bands-toget her-emerge-from-Irene-s-wrath?odyssey=tab|topnews| img|FRONTPAGE] is of a river having cut deeply into a riverbank, along a cemetery, and there are caskets laying on the stones in the riverbed...!
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278. originalLT
12:16 PM GMT en Septiembre 01, 2011
Was out all day yesterday, thanks for all the up-dates and descriptions of the major problems Irene caused. Hope all get through this as best as possible. Also hope this Katia storm, goes right thru the "goal posts", like a field goal, between the US and Bermuda, and curves NE out to sea! Many storms in this current position do this, lets hope she is not an exception.LT.
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277. NumberWise
1:21 AM GMT en Septiembre 01, 2011
Sully, I read your forecast again tonight in light of what we know actually happened. Although some of the winds and storm surge weren't as severe as you (and others) thought they would be, I think your forecast as a whole was very accurate. As some others said earlier, I passed along your thoughts to several acquaintances, and I think it made a difference in helping them to take this storm seriously.

You said, "In all areas these amounts are enough to bring just about every waterway out of their banks; creeks, streams and main stem rivers", and that is just what happened. Every day brings additional stories of washed out roads and bridges, farm livestock washed away, and homes and businesses destroyed.

Thanks for your efforts!
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
276. listenerVT
8:44 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Word has it that towns across Vermont are pulling together to pick up the pieces and help out neighbours. In Waitsfield, one person was seen riding into town on a bicycle, holding a shopvac in one arm, to help out at one of the stores that got flooded. It may be awhile before federal aid actually arrives (I understand some Republicans in Congress are demanding cuts in Medicare, etc., before releasing funds to flooded communities. Grrr.), so townspeople here have decided to get things cleaned up so they'll be ready for the rebuilding stage, when it finally comes. This really is a wonderful place to live! Some basic aid has been arriving, as the towns most cut off get airdropped necessities.
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275. listenerVT
8:37 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
goofyrider! Great to see you here and to hear you have power back. That must have been some wild night on rescue. Thanks for being there.

Shovler ~ The loss of entire houses is among the most heartbreaking aspects of the devastation. People don't "simply" need to clean out their basements and replace some things; they have nothing left at all, not even to sift through. It's too harsh. My heart goes out all through the Catskills!

Bostonwhofan ~
That sounds like a darn scary experience!! Take care and let's hope this sort of "lightning" doesn't strike twice in the same place any time soon!
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
274. listenerVT
8:26 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Sully, I will be awaiting your update with great interest and trepidation. Heh. Hoping it all goes to Texas, as they need it so much and we sure don't!

New Ally Update over at Crowe's blog:
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273. listenerVT
8:20 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
kaaterskillfalls ~

Gosh, thanks so much!

I can offer a few suggestions, depending on your style of donating:

1. You can donate to the Red Cross, and mark it specifically for Vermont, here:
http://www.redcrossvtnhuv.org/general.asp?SN=8084 &OP=8085&SUOP=16069&IDCapitulo=44W8UXGL8L

2. You can donate to the Vermont Foodbank here:
Or make a $10 donation to the Vermont Foodbank by texting FOODNOW to 52000.

3. Or, if you want to be very specific, you can donate to some of the folks who actually grow food for the Foodbank. My son Robin's registered non-profit, The Root Center, was created exactly for that purpose and for raising awareness about sustainability. This small group of young adults spends the lion's share of their non-regular-work hours tending several large gardens, and ALL of it gets donated to the Vermont Foodbank. This week they are sending out a press release and seeing where there is dire need anywhere in the state. Then it will be theirs to also harvest and deliver the goods.
I volunteer to help with weeding and harvesting at the gardens once a week. They just spent two days propping up corn and amaranth that got pushed over by Irene, and it all looks to be fine! =Whew!=
You can donate to The Root Center here:
If you donate to the latter and there's a place for comment, be sure to write: "Donation suggested by Robin's Mom." :-D

Whether or not you donate, be sure to check out the Root Center's website, and click on "Click here to see our garden sites and what we've been up to!" Their flagship site at the National Gardening Association Headquarters is where I volunteer. And I helped set up the dome in the middle! :-)
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272. goofyrider
8:10 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Afternoon Sully

Storm started in earnest Sat night lost power around 2200. Daughters at home with mom , my son was at the fire house and I was at the first aid squad. Finally got back Sun nite, but we were on the go all nite sun into mon pm for calls. Re cap 4.6-6 in rain total. min pressure 962 mb., winds peak gust 45-48 mph. 1 1/2 Miles of boardwalk gone, town pools under water, low areas and homes around Wreck pond, Lake Como and Spring Lake flooded or lost basements. No deaths, no initial injuries due to storm. Large portion of town evacuated. Lots of trees uprooted, taking out electric distribution, phone and cable service.

Power back about 1500 today.

We were camping late in July at north-south campground and had dinner in Windham. That had to be a lot of water to flood the 2nd floor of the hotel.
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271. kaaterskillfalls
7:07 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
ListenerVT -

Since I was one of the very fortunate ones in the area (and that's all it was - plain dumb luck) that didn't sustain much significant damage from Irene I was thinking I probably owe the karma gods big time.

Do you have any Vermont specific charities you'd recommend or think might be most in need of donations (either $$ or material goods) ?

If so I will try to pass the word amongst those of us who weren't impacted to such an extent. Vermont is one of my favorite states in the country - strong yet humble people who really need some help now.

Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
270. sullivanweather
5:15 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Hey all!

Tons of thing to do over the last couple days has kept me away. I'll be writing out a new blog either tonight or tomorrow with an overview of Irene and a forecast for the next week. Katia is something to certainly keep an eye on over the next week but there may be much bigger issues to deal with first.

Labor day into next week a moisture-laden front will become quasi-stationary over the region and produce another round of heavy rainfall. Then it gets interesting.

Models have been developing a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of this week and move it into the Gulf Coast this weekend. From there there's several directions the models take this storm. One camp takes it into Texas and dissipates it. The others take it north towards Louisiana where it stalls and produces copious amounts of rain across the south. Others take the storm and merge it with a deep trough and bring it up the coast.

Either way it turns out there's going to be a period of heavy rainfall again next week but how long it lasts and how intense it gets will depend on the movement of the potential tropical cyclone in the Gulf. Thereafter all eyes will be on Katia and how she handles the trough moving off the East Coast next Wednesday. Should Katia take a more southerly route through the tropical Atlantic there's going to be a chance we have yet another tropical system/heavy rainfall event to deal with.
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269. TheShovler3
3:59 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
amazing video from ulster county Link
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268. NEwxguy
3:40 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Shoveler early indications are this one will head our way,but then curve out to sea,but something to watch closely as it is still very early.
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267. TheShovler3
3:34 PM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
10.7" of rain was the final total winds kicked up but thankfully i still never lost power! Devastation here was wide spread with catskill towns taking the hardest hits. if you were at the base of any mountain you pretty much had to deal with demolished roads and bridges. Its terrible one person i work with lost his entire house right off the foundation. All in all i believe the count was 23 bridges and 200 roads in dutchess and ulster counties that were gone. Wyndam hotel was almost 200 years old and flooded to the second floor destroying all footings, now a complete loss.

LOOKING at the long range the next system looks dangerous as well and headed toward the coast, thoughts?
these areas can't take another inch of rain let alone another storm.
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266. bostonwhofan
4:12 AM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
The devastation from Irene is unbelievable. On Sunday, I thought we had made it through the storm relatively unscathed here on the north shore of Boston. Just a few limbs down here and there and some rain but nothing too bad.

Around 1pm I heard a creaking sound, followed by a huge crashing sound. I literally jumped out of my seat seeking shelter as I thought a tree was coming through my roof.

A few seconds later my 11 year old son told me to look outside because the telephone pole in front of my house collapsed. I went outside and there was a massive tree across the street that got blown over and landed on the wires and pulled down 3 telephone poles with it.

The creaking was the electric, phone, and cable wires being torn off my house as the telephone pole snapped.

I was shocked because the winds didn't really appear to be too bad.

The damage on my street as well as the awful devastation in Vermont and other states got me to thinking: This was "just" a tropical storm - can you imagine how massive the damage will be the next time a Cat-3 storm hits the northeast??? Will *any* trees remain standing?

Keep in mind that two massive (cat-2/cat-3) hurricanes hit Massachusetts within 11 days back in 1954 I think it was.

It's not a matter of 'if' a cat-3 storm will hit the northeast again, it's a matter of when. And when it does - I don't even want to think of the ramifications.
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265. listenerVT
3:36 AM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
We learned today that the site our son was married at on August 13th got completely surrounded by water and two feet of water IN the first floor! It's terrible!! The pavilion where the reception was held also had two feet of water and now has deep and rippled silt across the entire floor. The arbor they were wed beneath is still there, but there is a debris field beneath and around it. A sinkhole opened up in the driveway! Son and Daughter-in-Law are going there this weekend to help with the cleanup.
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264. listenerVT
3:33 AM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Welcome back to the grid, OriginalLT!!!

Thanks too for your note.

My area of Vermont is okay. Up here we didn't get the devastation partylight did.

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263. listenerVT
3:29 AM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
Letty ~ How terrible about all the fuel spilling!! That's not good for anyone anywhere. And to think it was preventable!!

partylight ~ I so appreciate your updates. What is your sense of things now. Have any roads been able to be cleared (the ones that aren't all gone, at least)? Are you folks cut off from new supplies? What are you hearing about federal aid? Is that primarily for repairing the infrastructure, or are individuals going to be helped as well?

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262. partylight
3:01 AM GMT en Agosto 31, 2011
So I was just looking on goggle earth and I noticed something about my area. Most of the worst hit spots happened to be down stream from a bend in the river. (which makes sense) The water was moving so fast, it did not like to turn. In Jamaica Village, the Ball Mountain Brook cut into what was the worse spot, about 450' before it meandered. That I believe was able to slow the water down and, at least, we have one bridge in the village that's still standing. That river bank has moved 150' in the spot my friends homes got washed away. The thing that spared the West River are the flood dams. I can now see why we built them and so far have saved me and my locals from something that could have been way worse. This whole Valley would have been cut off...
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261. originalLT
10:23 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Hi everyone just got my power back!, it was out from 5:30am Sunday, till 5:30pm Tues. I'm going to look at all the posts I missed. Listener , it was a pleasure talking to you, the "surprise" will be mailed soon. I want to wait till I know what's going on in VT.I hope you are all right. On Blizz's blog I detailed what it was like at home in my area, I will add more details later.
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260. LettyS
6:59 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Quoting listenerVT:

{{ Letty! }}}

Argh! Not good!

Forgive me for not recalling, but are you in Warwick NY, or Warwick RI?

Warwick, NY! Sorry for not getting back to respond until now.

Things have improved some in Warwick - roads are still out and power lines and trees still down, but the water is receding. I was able to get to work in NYC today. Grateful not to live a town over in Tuxedo, NY, where a fuel company didn't move their trucks to higher land and they all floated down the flooded Ramapo River, leaking chemicals/fuel as they went. It's a very bad situation.
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259. listenerVT
6:01 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
I can't think about Katia. I just can't.
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258. listenerVT
6:00 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Quoting partylight:
Something other then the devastation, it is wild looking at the river beds now. There was so much erosion in the stream beds and feet of sand clay and rocks everywhere it was not before. Where I went to go drink beer on sunny afternoons in spots it about 10' higher with rock-sand then-clay and the West river is now 50' to the north. It's unreal the power this water had but an a funny note, this explains the landscape I saw before Irene and why I've been worried for years.

That's incredible! We are so used to slow changes here in Vermont, that such a sudden alteration of the familiar must feel very disorienting. If only it were a movie or a dream we could wake up from. Please know that everyone in Vermont is caring about all of you and hoping things are soon repaired. (At least soonish!)

And thanks for the excellent description!

~ ♥ ~
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
257. 7544
5:37 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
looks like the one after k will be the real one to watch as it goes south of pr imo
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256. partylight
5:36 PM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Something other then the devastation, it is wild looking at the river beds now. There was so much erosion in the stream beds and feet of sand clay and rocks everywhere it was not before. Where I went to go drink beer on sunny afternoons in spots it about 10' higher with rock-sand then-clay and the West river is now 50' to the north. It's unreal the power this water had but an a funny note, this explains the landscape I saw before Irene and why I've been worried for years.
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255. listenerVT
3:25 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
partylight ~ THANK-YOU for helping with rescue!!

And thanks for the update. I'm so sad for the farmers. Even the Intervale up in Burlington is flooded such that they're doing an emergency harvest. I don't know what can be saved. My son's non-profit, which grows food to donate to the Foodbanks, was busy today propping up all the corn and amaranth that Irene blew over. Yet they know they were lucky because they weren't flooded out.

The town next to mine...Richmond...got flooded too. My interstate exit is underwater. But so many of us up here are okay. We just can't take in all the photos and stories! And yet, we want to and are and must.

I hope we hear very soon what we can do to help.
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254. partylight
2:14 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
The dams on the West River a filling up fast. Just learned my friends who have a farm along the Conn River lost everything (Crops) and other friends who have a shop in Bellows Falls have been evacuated as of today. Vermont is a small state and the rivers that did so much damage are receding but that means the threat moves on. One weird thing I saw today when my power came back on was the west below the Winhal Brook was flowing at about 10,000 cfs.(Opps, I think the gauge is under 10,000 feet of water hehe
) I've at the highest seen it at 2,500 cfs on the usgs waterwatch. This is so unreal that it happened but, my friends are all looking at me like a hero because I was telling everyone just how bad this could be. I can't believe this really happened. Well, off to bed. I'm helping with rescue tomorrow starting at 6AM
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253. listenerVT
2:04 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Tonight my neighbour told me that Governor Shumlin was live on Vermont Edition (VT Public Radio) this evening and someone asked him about the covered bridges. He said he was on a committee (or task force?) that got a covered bridge in Vermont rebuilt and he very much wants that all to happen.

So that's a little bright spot.
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252. listenerVT
1:54 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
Skyepony...thanks so much!!

It's not going to be quick here. Here's an example:

That was Route 4 near the city of Rutland...a major two-way road.

In fact, Rutland is cut off currently from NSE&W, as all the roads are just as bad. I have a friend there who wrote to me tonight:

To the north Brandon is wiped out, buildings swept off their foundations and giant holes where Route 7 used to be. I can't get anywhere near 22A, but I've heard it's closed. Can't get west over Otter Creek at all, except possibly the new Route 4 to NY, but I couldn't get that far South today. Route 4 east is bad. There's no way in or out of Killington, but they are trying to construct a temporary road for emergency vehicles.

Not sure what people need. I doubt many people had flood insurance, and businesses are losing money not being open...One of my co-workers had a river running through his trailer, if anyone you know has a movable used trailer they want to get rid of, they are homeless now. Him and his wife are staying at his brothers and their 3 kids are staying at her sisters. Otherwise donations to the Vermont Foodbank would probably help the most people.

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251. listenerVT
1:41 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
MarylandGirl: ~ ♥ ~

That sure is a lot to go through in such a short space of time. Remember to eat and to breathe. This really is a great community. I am so grateful to have Sullyland back in the swing of things in time for this magnitude of event...!
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250. Skyepony (Mod)
12:24 AM GMT en Agosto 30, 2011
I hate it for my northern friends. Ya'll got dumped on harsh.. Hope everyone gets their power & roads back soon.

TheShovler3~ sorry about your parent's house..
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249. MarylandGirl
10:09 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Back on the Internet, just got broadband up for laptop....cable still out but we have power. all we hear is the sound of chainsaws, trees down everywhere. I was heartbroaken to hear that covered bridges were taken out in Vermont. When we drive to Maine we always go through Bennington (sometimes spend the night) and love the drive through VT. Have not see pictures but have not had internet long enough to look. Listener, thanks so much for offering to keep me up to date...lots going one here. Had to reschedule trip to Michigan to help 92 yr old father in law and had Aunt die also......Between the quake, tornados (one during storm took out our trees) and hurricane I so need a break. appreciate all here! Thanks for being the kind caring community! Snow storm or summer.....always friends here!
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248. listenerVT
10:05 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Sully, you're right.

Views of the mountains today were incredibly clear!
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247. listenerVT
8:25 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
By the way, I learned a little while ago that a number of roads near me are closed due to flooding, even including our interstate exit. So we'll have to go to town a circuitous way for awhile.

Son's non-profit, The Root Center, which grows food to donate to the local Food Banks, found all their corn and amaranth pushed over by the wind. So they've spent the day staking it all back up and it looks like they'll be fine.

The Intervale, which grows heaps of food and is iconic here, got badly flooded.
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/201108 29/NEWS02/110829015/Harvest-race-against-time-wate r-Intervale?odyssey=mod|lateststories
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246. listenerVT
7:47 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Snowmog, the downtown of Brattleboro is underwater, and it might turn out that with so many impassable roads your sister is stuck at home for a few days. But if she's up the hill a little bit, then she herself should be all right.

Around 3:00am today the Federal Government declared Vermont a disaster area and federal aid is on its way. Senator Pat Leahy is touring the damage today, as well. That's why I wrote today about rebuilding here.

As electricity and phone service gets restored, we'll hear more. Meanwhile, know that Vermonters are good people who pull together and help one another. I hope your sister is able to be in contact soon. ♥
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245. listenerVT
7:42 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
partylight, snowmog and all ~

Well, I just emailed and phoned the offices of Pat Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Peter Welch and Governor Shumlin to say:

I know you are hurting with Vermont over the damage left by Hurricane Irene. We are heartbroken to hear of homes deluged and lost, and rivers whose courses have been altered. Probably the most meaningful symbol of Vermont’s loss is the loss of so many covered bridges.

I am writing to suggest two things:

*With the economy also in tatters, could we please put Vermonters to work rebuilding Vermont? This could be done both through accepting contracts from Vermont firms and through a Vermont Jobs “New Deal”-style work program.

*Moreover, could we find Vermonters who are skilled craftspeople to rebuild and replace our covered bridges? Covered bridges are such a part of Vermont’s character, tourism and history, and this one step would best encourage and uplift our great State in this traumatic and sorrowful time.

With prayers, hopes and confidence...

The surprise for me was that the staffer I had the most meaningful conversation with was the woman who picked up at Governor Shumlin's office. She liked the ideas I offered, while explaining that they are still in "rescue" mode today. There has been additional loss of life ~ two people in Rutland County. :-( There is also a very worried family who haven't been able to reach their son, as electricity and cell towers are out. And that's just an example.

Yet she affirmed the good of rebuilding with Vermonters and rebuilding our classic covered bridges, as they are part of our identity here. I not only felt heard. I told her she could tell the Governor that I didn't work for him or vote for him, but when he addressed Vermonters yesterday he became my Governor.

I have tears in my eyes, as I begin to take in the reality of the depth of Vermont's loss.
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244. listenerVT
7:39 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Welcome back to the grid, Sully!

So glad you came through so well.

Eager to see those photos.
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243. NumberWise
7:35 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Hi, Sully. I was glad to see you check in!

I was lucky enough not to lose electricity, but I was without internet until an hour ago. There are many roads closed, especially between here and Albany, including part of the Thruway. Lots of flooding and road washouts. I do hope people will be sensible and responsible while the water recedes and the clean-up proceeds.

I sure appreciated your blog during this storm!
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242. sullivanweather
7:05 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
I must add before I go...

Last night was the most amazingly clear summer night I've ever seen. Stunning how tropical systems 'clean the atmosphere' and leave behind crystal clear skies.

The blackout surely helped clear out some light pollution as well.

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241. sullivanweather
7:00 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Good afternoon, everyone!

We finally got our power back on about an hour ago. Since then I've been running around doing all those things that need to get done using electricity.

Rainfall total was 4.36" here. Flooding wasn't too bad. It got much worse about 10-15 miles south and east of here but we escaped flooding damage. I do have some amazing pics of flood damage on my route from this morning. I'll try to get those posted later.

For now, I have to run out to the store. I'll be back later this evening.
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240. Snowmog
6:00 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Wow, stuff in VT is rough!!! :0( My sister in-law is in Brattleboro, I hope she is ok! she said her house is quite high, but I hope they can get out if they need to!
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239. listenerVT
5:58 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011

zotty ~

Okay, I can live with that, for now. ;-)

Thanks to both you and NEwxguy for the notes on TD12.

NWwzguy ~ Very glad to hear you got off easy this time. One never knows. My brother has a place west of Boston and a place in D'port on the Cape...and both fared fine! They would have been even better off riding Irene out, on the Cape!

Just as Irene carved new inlets on the Outer Banks (according to Wildlife*Biologist*Son who has contacts there), a number of Vermont's rivers have changed their courses. That's a lot to think about, especially so far inland.
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238. zotty
5:42 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
listener- the tropical depression in the eastern Atlantic is still far far away. Dr. Masters noted that he thought it would be more of a problem for Bermuda and the ocean than us, but it is at least a week away so who knows. I didn't mean to hype it, just noting it was out there on a similar path that Irene took, though it is projected to be north and probably east of the Bahamas.
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237. NEwxguy
4:43 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
Well,folks,made it through here in eastern Mass. with little or no effect from Irene.Watching the stories from Vermont,they really took it on the chin with the incredible rain.
VT,the early indications are that TD12 will come west,then north close to Bermuda and maybe into Nova Scotia,but way way out in the future right now.Don't think New England has to worry,but as always thats a path that makes everyone on the east coast nervous.
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236. listenerVT
4:33 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
partylight ~

Good to hear you got your power back. That's amazing given how many roads are closed. The state got word at 3am that federal funds are available for Vermont, so that helps. But what happens to the people who lost everything, especially if their land was gobbled up by the river? It's astounding that the loss of life appears to be so low in Vermont: one, that I know of. The videos and photos from southern Vermont are heartbreaking. We in the NW corner were the most spared. How can folks here help?

On a side note, in today's Burlington Free Press (and online) are photos from the destruction and one shows a farm greenhouse underwater. It's Amy's Organic Flowers, where we got most of the flowers for our son's wedding, just two weeks ago..!
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235. listenerVT
4:28 PM GMT en Agosto 29, 2011
zotty ~

Sooo glad to hear you came through Irene okay, with minimal inconvenience!

I, too, would like to understand what happened with this storm that made it so unusual.

Even moreso, I am eager to hear what you mean by "more northerly." Do you mean it will track less to the west? Would that make it a fish storm after all or are we talking about New England really taking it on the chin this time? I don't think Vermont could recover from another such blow so soon.
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